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2.2.2 Initial visibility

When Emacs first visits an Org file, the global state is set to OVERVIEW, i.e., only the top level headlines are visible6. This can be configured through the variable org-startup-folded, or on a per-file basis by adding one of the following lines anywhere in the buffer:

#+STARTUP: overview
#+STARTUP: content
#+STARTUP: showall
#+STARTUP: showeverything

Furthermore, any entries with a ‘VISIBILITY’ property (see Properties and Columns) get their visibility adapted accordingly. Allowed values for this property are ‘folded’, ‘children’, ‘content’, and ‘all’.

C-u C-u TAB (org-set-startup-visibility)

Switch back to the startup visibility of the buffer, i.e., whatever is requested by startup options and ‘VISIBILITY’ properties in individual entries.


Footnotes

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When org-agenda-inhibit-startup is non-nil, Org does not honor the default visibility state when first opening a file for the agenda (see Speeding Up Your Agendas).